If you’re just starting to collect Rapid Rewards points to fly free on Southwest (download my free ebook to learn how to master this skill!), then you’ll be hard pressed to believe that one day you will run out of points.
That day eventually arrived for me after I spent 155,000 Southwest points + plenty more that I accumulated through everyday spending and other bonuses.
The 155,000+ points lasted us a solid year and enabled me to take four people to six destinations — not bad! But even by putting my everyday spending on my Chase Sapphire Preferred card (which I recommend getting after you’ve met your Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards’ minimum spend, because it gives you double points on dining and the points can be used to fly on Southwest), I was not accumulating points as fast as I wanted for the next trips I needed to book.
Here’s what you can do if you’re almost out of Southwest points:
1. Try to Get Approved for a Second Southwest Credit Card
If you currently hold only one Southwest Chase Rapid Rewards Visa credit card, you might consider applying for a second (either a personal or business; you can only hold one personal Southwest card at a time) when it has a high bonus of at least 40,000 points.
Keep in mind that Chase will not approve you for any new cards if you’ve been approved for more than 5 cards in the last 24 months. They also have limited me, thus far, to three total cards (I also hold Chase Sapphire Preferred), so this may not be the ticket for me.
You can also try closing one card before applying for another, or if you are declined, see if they will allow you to move credit between cards.
Please apply for any travel credit cards by clicking the TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS link in the main menu above. This allows me to earn a commission to help support the blog — at no cost to you — so I can continue to bring you great information FREE! I sincerely appreciate you taking this step!
2. Apply for a Card Whose Points Transfer to Southwest
You can also earn more points for Southwest flights by applying for Chase Ultimate Rewards cards. Chase Ultimate Rewards can be transferred instantly to Southwest points at a 1:1 ratio.
These cards include:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred (annual fee waived first year, 2X points on travel and dining)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve ($450 annual fee, $300 travel credit, 3X points on travel and dining)
- Chase Ink Business Preferred ($95 annual fee, 3X points on travel, internet, advertising and 5X points in rotating quarterly categories)
Both Preferred and Reserve (you can only hold ONE of these) usually have 50,000-point bonuses after meeting the minimum spend, while Chase Ink Business Preferred typically has an 80,000-point bonus after meeting the minimum spend.
3. Recruit Your Spouse
I earned my first Southwest Companion Pass late in 2015, which allowed my husband to fly free with us (whether we paid in points or cash) through the end of 2016. Because you cannot earn the credit card bonus points again for 24 months from the time you first earned them (once every 24 months for a personal card and once for a business card), you cannot earn the pass using that technique again until 24 months have passed.
To fix this problem, you can have your spouse or loved one — or whomever is your Southwest Companion — apply for the pass next and allow YOU to be THEIR companion. Plus, they can collect the bonus points for each card sign-up — Premier, Plus, Business and Chase Sapphire Preferred — potentially restocking a family with 200,000 points or more. That ought to be enough for a while :).
4. Use Another Airline Until Points are Accumulated
You could potentially switch to another airline by signing up for one of their cards (beware the Chase 5/24 rule, however) until you have more points.
5. Start Over Again in 24 Months
You can re-earn the credit card bonuses from Chase 24 months after first earning them. If you are rotating between spouses, after their pass expires in two years — or you run out of Southwest points — you can re-apply and re-earn those 150,000-200,000 points and the accompanying Southwest Companion Pass.
That is as long as they don’t change the rules on us. After that, we would be back at Step 1!
What do you do to earn more Southwest points?
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